Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup June 18th

Dear Belle,

I know you HATE nylons, but my boss requires female employees to wear them. Do you have a recommendation for a good pair of hose that are neither Grandma Millie nor Hooters waitress?

I Miss Bare Legs

When I do have to wear nylons, I like either Donna Karan’s sheer hose or Calvin Klein’s Ultra Sheer ones.  Neither pair are very noticeable and seem to breathe well and wear well.  I’ve also heard good things about Hanes’ Ultra Sheer Hose ($10).  And at that price, if you shred a pair, you won’t feel the need to burst into tears, curse obscenities or both.

Dear Belle,

Do you have any recommendations for a pocket-sized wallet? I need my debit card and ID for walking around the Hill, but I hate carrying my huge billfold. 


J.Crew Magic Wallet ($22.50)

I like J.Crew’s magic wallet.  It’s  small enough to fit in your blazer pocket, your padfolio or discreetly in your hand.   If you have a Blackberry or an iPhone, you can also buy a device case that makes room for a debit card, an ID, a spare key and a little bit of cash.


I have a problem with my mascara rubbing onto my eyelids during the day.  Is there a fix for this? I’m tired of looking like a raccoon by the time I get to happy hour.


Raccoon eyes is definitely a problem that many women experience.  Sufferers have two choices: you can switch to a long-wearing, rub proof mascara like Cover Girl Lash Blast 24-hour ($8), or you can employ my favorite trick.  Through trial and error, I discovered that if I apply some translucent powder to my under eye area using a flat brush, not only does it set my concealer in place, it prevents my mascara from rubbing off.  (I think the creamy texture of the concealer was pulling mascara from my lashes when I blinked, and applying the powder prevents that.)

On a related note, I tried the Lash Blast 24-hour mascara above and loved it.  Well, at least until I tried to take it off.  Cleansing cloths, olive oil and Clinique Eye-Makeup Solvent ($17) were all powerless to remove it.  I have no patience for mascara that can’t be removed without a chisel and hammer.



  1. Anon says:

    I've had good luck with the Hanes mentioned. They have a color which matches my skintone exactly. I get mine at Stein Mart (do you have that in the DC area?) for $5 a pair.

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. Kate says:

    Another trick I learned to help avoid shadows around eyes with mascara is after you've applied the dark mascara and it has dried, apply a clear coat with clear mascara. It works for a whole work day plus some.

    June 18, 2012/Reply
  3. Emma Peel says:

    For the raccoon eyes: TUBE MASCARA! It's formulated differently from normal mascara and simply doesn't come off. But it removes with just plain ol' hot water. It's life-changingly awesome.

    Blinc and Trish McEvoy are the department store options; I use L'Oreal Beauty Tubes, which I actually prefer to both.

    June 18, 2012/Reply
  4. Amy says:

    @ Bare Legs: just out of curiosity, is your boss male or female? A friend in a more conservative Hill office was required to wear nylons, and her (male) boss said it was because “it matched the professionalism of men's suits.” From then on she wore pantsuits in the summer. It seems sad that female employees can't be trusted to maintain a professional standard of attire with bare legs (Belle has certainly posted dozens of appropriate outfits).

    Also: from personal observation, wearing nylons does not change the sartorial choices of the occasionally unprofessionally dressed interns.

    June 18, 2012/Reply
  5. Amy says:

    Another Amy here: I work in a really conservative law office and I also have to wear nylons. The reason for the rule is because there are more than a few courtrooms around the area where bare legs are frowned upon. DKNY nylons are my favorites, but for cheap ones, I've had decent luck with Hue. A note about Hue, though – be sure to look at them carefully before buying. Some colors are fine(the more sheer the better), but the less sheer varieties from this line will make your legs a shade of orange never found in nature.

    June 18, 2012/Reply
  6. Angela says:

    Regarding mascara, the problem here is probably oily eyelids, not just under the eye. Tubing mascara works well but it kills the curl in my lashes. The tradeoff isn't worth it to me. So my standby combo is an eye shadow primer (to minimize oil on the eyelids; can also add powder eyeshadow on top for an extra oil-absorbing layer) + a clear waterproofing coat such as Clarins Double Fix Mascara or Anastasia Lash Genuis (even though it doesn't protect your mascara from oil per se, I find that this adds an extra layer that your skin oils must cut through before it can reach the mascara). With this combo, it is 15+ hours until I see smudges (and even then, it's not full-on raccoon eyes unless I rub my eyes). Without, it's about 2 hours.

    June 18, 2012/Reply
  7. Christina says:

    Regarding the small wallet –

    First: I have and love that J.Crew magic wallet. Solid product.

    Second: if you're looking for something a bit more unique…I recently got the Book Book iPhone case by Twleve South and it's solved all my problems. Phone case + debit/credit cards + ID + room for a little cash, AND looks awesome. Love everything about it. Here's the link:

    June 18, 2012/Reply
  8. Diana says:

    @ Bare Legs: I second Donna Karan, and I also love Givenchy. I generally find both on sale at TJ Maxx or Marshall's and then stock up.

    June 19, 2012/Reply
  9. Dakota says:

    I use the same mascara, love it, and use Bliss eye makeup remover to take it off. Works like a charm! Kind of pricey but it lasts a while, and since I use it every day I think it's worth it.

    June 19, 2012/Reply
  10. An says:

    Have you tried Lancom Bifacil makeup remover? It is the best, bar none. Also, it doesn't cause your eyes to burn (call me clumsy, but I have this problem with other eye makeup removers).

    Just don't forget to shake it!

    June 19, 2012/Reply
  11. Sam says:

    There are tons of card holder options on Etsy as well. I bought a nice leather one for $12 from Bambina:

    June 19, 2012/Reply
  12. Amanda says:

    Interesting……grew up having to wear hose in Church…..and now work….it does appear more professional though:)…..just not fun to have itchy legs…and smelly feet due to pantyhose….right ladies? hehehe

    September 7, 2014/Reply